Iceland has experienced more than 2,000 mini-earthquakes with a volcano close to erupting on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Meetings and conferences in the country have yet to be impacted.
Magmatic gas is oozing out of a borehole in Svartsengi. This indicates an eruption of the Fagradalsfjali volcano is imminent. Scientists say it is not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.
“The likelihood of a volcanic eruption is high. An eruption could be possible on a timescale of just days,” the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue warns on its website SafeTravel.
The Icelandic town of Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula is in the epicenter. As a result, it evacuated 4,000 of its residents.
Grindavik is less than 12 miles from Iceland’s main international airport, Keflavik Airport. Flights are operating normally, says Visit Iceland. “The potential disruption to flight traffic depends on factors such as the location and size of the eruption,” Visit Iceland states. Previous eruptions in the area did not impact flights.
Visit Iceland Provides Updates
Visit Iceland has established an information page with essential updates on the current situation. The source is an ongoing assessment by scientists from the Icelandic Meteorological Agency.
The country is well prepared for volcanic activity. There are 130 volcanoes in the country. Iceland straddles two tectonic plates. They are divided by an undersea mountain chain that oozes molten hot rock or magma.
The volcanic activity has not impacted business meetings and conferences in Reykjavik. “We do not have news of any cancellations due to the seismic activity in the Grindavik area,” says Hildur Björg Bæringsdóttir, director of research and lead generation, Meet in Reykjavik – Iceland Convention Bureau.
Take the Second International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Region, scheduled for Reykjavik on November 22-23. Its organizers issued a statement saying, “We are experiencing some geological events here in Iceland. At this time, the possibility of an eruption does not represent any reason to change the timing or organization of the symposium.”
Ash Cloud Memories
The 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption, known as the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, profoundly and widely impacted the global travel industry. Widespread flight cancellations, economic losses, and logistical challenges were just some of its short-term impacts.
Experts don’t believe a potential eruption will be as large, so they only enforced a local evacuation. Still, dealing with the forces of nature is notoriously unpredictable.
Despite the challenges of the eruption and the preceding 2008 financial crisis, Iceland has increased in popularity as a travel destination in subsequent years.